Inside the Moonshot Effort to Finally Figure Out the Brain

MIT Technology Review

Here’s the problem with artificial intelligence today," says David Cox. Yes, it has gotten astonishingly good, from near-perfect facial recognition to driverless cars and world-champion Go-playing machines. And it’s true that some AI applications don’t even have to be programmed anymore: they’re based on architectures that allow them to learn from experience. ... To overcome such limitations, Cox and dozens of other neuroscientists and machine-learning experts joined forces last year for the Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (MICrONS) initiative: a $100 million effort to reverse-engineer the brain. It will be the neuroscience equivalent of a moonshot, says Jacob Vogelstein, who conceived and launched MICrONS when he was a program officer for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. intelligence community’s research arm.